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From metal to jewelry
Iglulik high school students attend jewelry-making camp

Jeanne Gagnon
Northern News Services
Published Saturday, March 5, 2011

IGLULIK - Pieces of copper and brass were being turned into jewelry by the hands of a number of Ataguttaaluk High School students who attended a jewelry-making camp late last month in Iglulik.

NNSL photo/graphic

Ataguttaaluk High School students Vincent Arnatsiaq, left, and Chico Qaunaq cut metal pieces during a jewelry-making camp in Iglulik late last month. Following the camp, the high school will start offering jewelry-making courses to students. - photo courtesy of Daniel Guay

About 20 students learned how to cut and file metal as a well as design jewelry under the guidance of Marek Lasocki, a visiting-instructor from Iqaluit's Inuksuk High School. The jewelry-making teacher, in the community from Feb. 21 to 25, said the students concentrated on earrings, bracelets and necklaces.

The main goal is to get students interested, he added.

"(From) flat pieces of metal, they can make beautiful jewelry," he said. "The idea of jewelry-making is not only to participate but it's also to be part of the school and start going to school and do the curriculum and do the other subjects.

Lasocki, who said the camp was going "fantastic," added they hope the program's success in Iqaluit is replicated in every Nunavut community.

"Giving the students a chance to learn about jewelry-making or working with metal, it's something that you learn as a trade," he said.

Teacher and camp organizer Daniel Guay said they want to start a jewelry-making program at the school and the week-long camp is the kick-off. From now on, students will get one jewelry class every two days.

"In our community in Iglulik, there is so much talent for carving and so many artists. The kids really wanted something hands-on and to do with art," said Guay, who will now also teach jewelry-making. "We've had some students here (who) don't usually come to school. They don't want to leave when it's break time. We can't get them to go."

On his first day of attending the camp, Tylie Arnatsiaq said the camp was going great.

"It sounded fun (so I enrolled) and I love doing like art stuff," said the 15-year-old.

Another student attending the camp, Chico Qaunaq, said he is trying to finish a copper walrus necklace he started in Iqaluit. The 18-year-old Grade 10 student said he likes cutting the metal.

"I like to do necklaces and earrings," he said.

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